Fan Thoughts About Playing Super Bowl LV In Raymond James Stadium.
NOTE: Thoughts before the game. (Late)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played in their first Super Bowl for the first time since January 2003, and won their second Super Bowl Championship. They took on the defending world champion Kansas City Chiefs in Raymond James Stadium in which means that the Buccaneers have become the first NFL team to host a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Tampa Bay is coming off of two major playoff victories against the Washington Redskins in the wildcard round, NFC South rival the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round, and winning the NFC Championship against the Green Bay Packers. The Buccaneers defense was smothering in all three games, which I think made a difference in all three games especially. Linebackers Devin White and Shaq Barrett played a key role together in the NFC Championship game.
The Buccaneers offense came to play early with their key players Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Cameron Brate. On the day Tom Brady was 20/36, 280 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions, that helped get the Packers to get back into the game. Leonard Fournette led Tampa Bay in rushing with 55 yards and one touchdown, and we also saw Ronald Jones get a lot of carries and rushed for 10 yards. Mike Evans scored the first touchdown of the game and led the Buccaneers for 51 yards in receiving, Chris Godwin led the Bucs in receiving for 110 yards. Cameron Brate would score one touchdown and have three yards receiving, and Scotty Miller would have two yards receiving and one touchdown.
In years past there have been chances for many teams to return to their stadiums to host the Super Bowl. The last team that had the chance to do it was the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 season, but they were denied by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. When Tom Brady came to Tampa Bay last March I knew that the Buccaneers were more than capable of hosting the Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. This season if the Buccaneers were going to Super Bowl LV with Tom Brady, then who would their opponent be? I heard NFL Network analyst Nate Burleson predict that the Bucs would see the New England Patriots in Tampa, but I knew that the Patriots would struggle without Tom Brady, and they sure did this season by missing the playoffs. All through training camp, I thought that if the Buccaneers made it to the Super Bowl then my projected opponent for them would be the Kansas City Chiefs or the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The last time the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, Tom Brady was in his second season with the New England Patriots, and they missed the AFC Playoffs with a 9-7 record. Tampa Bay finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and won the NFC South Division under first-year head coach Jon Gruden. Tampa Bay defeated the Oakland Raiders by a score of 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII with an amazing performance from Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defense led by Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Ronde Barber, and John Lynch. Underrated players Brian Kelly and Dwight Smith also contributed to that Buccaneers secondary with the mentorship of secondary coach and current Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin.
Tampa Bay’s offense got a tune-up that offseason with an offensive-minded Gruden as head coach and also a confidence boost. The Bucs offense already had a lot of weapons for quarterback Brad Johnson in Keyshawn Johnson, Micheal Pittman, Keenan McCardell, Mike Alstott, and Joe Jurevicius. I am comparing these weapons to the ones that the Buccaneers had ready for Tom Brady coming into this season before he brought Gronkowski, such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Ronald Jones, Cameron Brate, Scotty Miller, and OJ Howard before the injury.
The Buccaneers have two-weeks to get ready for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs for the biggest game in football. Kansas City comes to Raymond James Stadium with an arsenal of weapons, and most have said that the Chiefs have more talent than the Bucs. Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Demarcus Robinson, but in my opinion, the Bucs have what it takes to get it done. I do think Kansas City will be favored coming into this game, but it’s being played in Tampa, and this could be Tom Brady’s last game. Although the last meeting in the regular season between these two teams was also in Tampa, the Bucs were a different team at that time and they were not playing good defense. I have a feeling that Super Bowl LV will be one for the ages. I was right.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020-21 NFL Champions.